5 Midrange Tempo Deck Recommendations (That Aren’t Fiora Shen)
Fiora and her BFF Shen have ruled the tempo-midrange roost since the beta.
With the newest round of nerfs though she’s not looking her best.
Where then do lovers of that particular archetype turn for solace?
I’m Jordan “WhatAmI” Abronson and I’m here with the lowdown on the heirs to the throne.
Deck Code: CECAGAIABEFRUAQDAADA4AYBAIQCKKYBAQAAQBABAEAB2AQBAIJTCAQEAABAUAICAAAQCAIBAASQ
Our first contender for the crown keeps things as close to home as possible now that our favorite ego-clad duelist is feeling a bit too fragile for our liking.
The shell is going to look very much the same to anyone who has enjoyed playing this response-heavy menace.
You’ve still got a plethora of Barriers, Challengers, and powerful tempo effects backed up by Deny and some combat initiators.
The difference is that instead of having the alternate win-condition of Fiora we are now all in on actually eventually killing our opponent.
To make that plan a bit easier though this deck can level Jarvan surprisingly quickly, and a leveled Jarvan will absolutely dominate any board he lives on.
Offing your opponent’s strongest creature every turn is not something that they are going to be able to withstand for long before crumbling.
We’ve also put it in just a sprinkle more top end with the dad-boat himself Mr. Jarvan III.
If you don’t have your Jarvan, he’ll go fetch it for you. If you already do then hoooo boy, that’s when the fun starts. Few board states will survive J-4 plus J-3, let alone if you have any other friends to back them up.
Deck Code: CECQEAIABEOQEAYAAYHAEAYCAIFACAICEAAQEAAKAQBAEAABAIBQCAAVFM2QEAICFMYQCBAAAIAA
Venturing a bit further afield, but still working under many of the same theories, we’ve got Lulu/Shen.
This deck cuts out on some of the late game and the interaction to focus upon the plan of going completely under whatever your opponent wants to do and then having one or two key responses or rallies to close out a game on the back of your early tempo.
Your deck really just wants to set up the combo of champions plus Challenger creatures in as many different ways, as many different times as possible.
Young Witch and Brightsteel Protector show up to do their best champion impressions to make this game plan more consistent.
We really want most of our games with this deck to end by turn seven or so, and the top end really showcases that plan.
Cithria is an absolute beast, but here particularly Gennie is going to be our girl because she hits just that little bit harder on the turn she comes down, and we’re really hoping that turn ends the game.
Deck Code: CECACAYABYAQIAADAMAQAEJAFUBQCAQJBQYQEBIBAABQ2FI2EUAQIAACAQAQGAQUAEAQEJQBAIAACAICAIEQ
Surprise, one of these still has Fiora in it.
While the missing point of health might be a huge deal in our previous decks that really needed her to value trade, when we were basically always going to be protecting her and buffing her up anyway it’s somehow just a smidge less important.
Our game plan here is very simple.
Hard mulligan for one of our champions, or occasionally a Solitary Monk, and then buff the ever-loving heck out of it while our opponent sits there unable to stop us.
Both Fiora and Zed kill ridiculously quickly in this deck, and Cataclysm paired with Zed especially is an absolute nightmare.
We’ll run out of steam quickly, sure, but it’s going to be hard for our opponent to not run out of health or get one turn killed by a Fiora before we do.
Don’t get me wrong, this deck is definitely worse than before the Fiora nerf, but the question is how much worse?
I’d venture that the answer is only a little bit, and if the decks that used to be scared away by Fiora are all coming out to play, this is a great way to remind them that sometimes the queen is still around to sit her throne.
Deck Code: CEBQOBAHAEGRIJRXKFOQGBADAICA6AQBAMMBUAQBAQBQMAIEA45QA
Alright, time to leave the well-traveled plains of Demacia behind us for a bit.
While at first glance this Reputation deck might not look like it particularly belongs here, the themes are surprisingly similar.
We’ve got pump spells, Deny, solid tempo with Sandspinner and Rock Hopper, and even a Concerted Strike along with Bloody Business.
Between Preservarium and Whispered words we’re not going to miss Rivershaper all that much, and instead of a more controlling endgame, our five drops simply drop the overwhelming hammer and destroy our opponent’s nexus.
If the first attempt isn’t enough then Black Rose Spy can come down on turn six or so and double up a Kato, Ruin Runner, or even Sivir for exceedingly hard-to-navigate attack steps for your opponent.
Looking at the tempo power, card draw, and sheer inarguable beef our curve represents I would hate to be any kind of Shadow Isles control deck trying to face this down.
And really, if that’s not the true legacy of Fiora then at the end of the day what is?
Deck Code: CMCQCAQAAEBACAALDIBAGAAGBYBQIAACBAFAKAYJDQRTSOS4AAAQCAYJNY
Well, we’re back in Demacia, but we’ve got a very rarely seen face alongside us as we make our way home.
The initial reaction to Taric being showcased in a deck is pretty much always going to be “Welp, that’s a meme.”.
I can’t exactly disagree, except for the part where this deck has been making the rounds at the top of the North American masters ladder.
We’ve got a suite of solid Challenger creatures, life gain, and beef.
We back it up with pump spells, combat initiators, and a spicy one of Out Of The Way for when we have to play against other Targon decks.
Earlier we discussed how J-3 plus J-4 is basically always going to guarantee victory, but here we get some other pretty crazy combos.
Stick a Golden Aegis on a Taric and you can get two attacks during your opponent’s turn, or three on your own, often instantly leveling your Taric in the process.
At the end of the day, most people are going to want to know if this is a meme or a dream.
Well, both. This one is too new for me to really pass judgment, but it’s powerful, it’s innovative, and it’s spicy as all get out.
Definitely, a contender to keep an eye on as the next few weeks of this meta plays themselves out.
Fiora might have some issues after her recent fight with the nerf-bat, but the concepts that made her decks strong are alive and kicking.
Tempo and reactivity are two of the most powerful ideas in Legends of Runeterra, and anytime you get a deck that can do both well you are going to have a strong contender.
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Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, feel free to ask WhatAmI during his streams (around 10AM PST basically every day).